Fortunate goal proves decisive for Tipperary

Waterford left to rue a string of costly wides

Tipperary’s Jason Forde comes under pressure during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A game at Semple Stadium in  Thurles. Photo: Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Tipperary’s Jason Forde comes under pressure during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A game at Semple Stadium in Thurles. Photo: Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho


Tipperary 2-13 Waterford 0-16

Tipperary manager Eamon O’Shea insisted he has no ambitions for this year’s league after watching his side stutter past Waterford in last Saturday’s opening Division 1A fixture against Waterford at Semple Stadium.

O’Shea stressed his sole focus is on the Munster SHC semi-final against Limerick on June 1, after his side somehow managed a three-point win in Thurles.

Tipp came from five points down to claim maximum points and O’Shea acknowledged that it was a sub-standard performance.

Misfired badly
Waterford were left counting the cost of 13 wides. At half-time, Waterford were 0-8 to 0-5 clear, with Pauric Mahony lofting over six points, including five from placed balls.

But Mahony was also guilty of hitting five of Waterford’s eight wides before the break.

Early in the second half, Waterford had moved 0-10 to 0-5 in front on a cold evening but Tipp recovered as Séamus Callanan and Noel McGrath sparked into life in attack.

McGrath’s defence-splitting pass allowed Callanan the chance to shoot past Stephen O’Keeffe from an acute angle in the 47th minute for a goal that tied the scores at 1-7 to 0-10.

And after Callanan put the hosts ahead for the first time in the 56th minute from a free, 1-10 to 0-12, wind-assisted Tipp led from there until the finish.

Goalkeeper Darren Gleeson sealed victory in the final minute with a long-range free that somehow ended up in the back of the Waterford net.

O’Shea said: “Any time you win like that I’ll take it. People are saying Tipperary can’t win close games, I’m happy to win that. Okay, it was a fortuitous goal at the end won the game and I felt sorry for Waterford in the sense that I thought they came here with a good plan.”

The tactics
In the first half, Waterford operated with an extra man in defence and Tipp struggled to come to terms with the tactics employed by their opponents.

Waterford, with Shane Fives and Philip Mahony excelling in defence, hunted in packs, contesting breaking ball and the rucks with far more vigour than Tipperary.

But Déise manager Derek McGrath admitted that his players simply couldn’t maintain those massive high levels of intensity for the entire game.

He said: “I think sustaining the level of workrate in the first half was difficult . . ”

A return of 0-16 points from the high number of scoring chances created will have disappointed McGrath. Bar leading scorer Mahoney, Waterford’s other five forwards managed just three points between them in total.
TIPPERARY: D Gleeson (1-0f); C Barrett, C O’Mahony, M Cahill; S McGrath, P Maher, C O’Brien; B Maher, J Woodlock (0-1); S Callanan (1-4, 0-2f), N McGrath (0-2), K Bergin (0-1); J Forde, P Murphy, J O’Dwyer (0-4f). Subs: L McGrath for Forde (43), D Maher (0-1) for O’Dwyer (49), S Bourke for Murphy (56), R Maher for Woodlock (59).
WATERFORD : S O’Keeffe; B Coughlan, S Fives, N Connors; J Nagle, M Walsh, Philip Mahony (0-2); K Moran (0-1), S O’Sullivan; J Barron, Pauric Mahony (0-10, 9f), J Dillon (0-1); M Shanahan (0-1), S Walsh, B O’Sullivan (0-1). Subs: S Molumphy for S Walsh (48), S Prendergast for Dillon (58), E Barrett for Shanahan (67), S Roche for S O’Sullivan (70).
Referee: C Lyons (Cork).